heat pump

A Carrier Heat Pump Can Keep You Warm This Winter

A Carrier Heat Pump Can Keep You Warm This Winter

winter When you are looking for a new heat pump for your Semmes-area home, you can rest assured that there is a Carrier model that fits the bill. Learn about four of Carrier’s highly-rated models, and see which would be a great choice for your home.

Infinity® 16 Heat Pump

One of the more hardworking Carrier heat pumps on the market, the Infinity 16 heat pump has great temperature and humidity control paired with a quiet design for effective yet unobtrusive heating and cooling. Some homeowners pair this heat pump with an Infinity furnace model to create a more energy-efficient heating system that offers better comfort and cost savings.

Infinity® 18VS Heat Pump

Unlike most other units, the Infinity 18VS heat pump has a variable-speed compressor that allows it to run in five stages instead of two. This feature helps the heat pump operate more smoothly, quietly, and efficiently in every season. Its temperature control capabilities mean it can keep your family comfortable with consistent temperatures year-round.

Infinity® 19 Heat Pump

The Infinity 19 heat pump offers excellent temperature and humidity control, so you will stay comfortable in any Alabama weather. This unit also features improved energy efficiency, with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating of 19 and a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) rating of 10.

Infinity® 20 Heat Pump with Greenspeed Intelligence

When you truly want to keep your family comfortable year-round, Greenspeed intelligence is the name of the game. Instead of a standard two-speed compressor, this unit also uses a variable-speed compressor to fine-tune climate control in any weather. This heat pump operates at about 40 percent capacity for most of the day, and it can quickly shift to 100 percent capacity to adapt to your family’s heating or cooling needs. This Infinity heat pump is also one of the most energy-efficient Carrier models, so you can keep warm without wasting energy. Looking for more information about the right heat pump for your home? Call the heating experts at Air Specialty at 251-545-3337 today, for a consultation.  
Heat Pump 101 – A Basic Tune-Up

Heat Pump 101 – A Basic Tune-Up

Air Specialty Air ConditioningGood heat pump maintenance is the key to energy-efficient operation and long equipment life. There are several things you can do to ensure efficient operation of your heat pump. You should rely on your professional HVAC technician to perform the heat pump maintenance tasks that you can’t do safely and effectively yourself.

Heat Pump Maintenance

Be sure to change the air filter at appropriate intervals. A dirty filter restricts airflow in the ductwork and makes the heat pump work harder than it should to heat and cool your home effectively. Set up a heat pump maintenance agreement with your HVAC contractor for annual or semi-annual service calls. An HVAC pro can tackle the following maintenance tasks to keep your system running efficiently:
  • Measure and adjust airflow for correct balance.
  • Measure and adjust refrigerant levels for correct cooling operation.
  • Inspect, clean and lubricate moving parts.
  • Clean and tighten electrical connections.
  • Clean and inspect evaporator and condenser coils. Check for refrigerant leaks.
  • Inspect ductwork. Repair loose connections and seal leaks.
  • Check for correct thermostat operation. Make sure backup heat is not running under normal operating conditions.

Optimal Heat Pump Operation

Once you program the thermostat to control heat pump operation, avoid manually overriding the settings. If you set the thermostat temperature more than a few degrees higher than its programmed setting on cold days, you’re likely to force the backup heating system to come on. The backup heat, whether it comes from electric resistance coils or a natural gas furnace, is a more expensive heat source than your heat pump is under normal weather conditions. Unless the heat pump has a high-efficiency variable-speed fan, you should leave your system in “auto” mode rather than “fan” mode. Leaving a single-speed fan running continuously distributes air evenly throughout your house, but it increases electrical costs and shortens the life of air-handling equipment. Learn more about routine heat pump maintenance or emergency repairs with Air Specialty or contact us today at 251-545-3337.
New High Tech Furnace and Heat Pump Choices

New High Tech Furnace and Heat Pump Choices

Air Specialty Air ConditioningIs it time to upgrade your home’s heating or cooling system? With all of the new high tech options on the market, which type of unit is going to work best for your home. Here, we break down the basic pros for heat pumps and furnaces so you can decide what works for your family.

Consider the Climate

The climate comes into play when making the choice between a heat pump, furnace or a hybrid. First, climate may affect whether or not you have access to gas lines. In milder climates, like much of the Mobile region where temperatures don’t dip below freezing with too much frequency, gas lines and gas furnaces are far less common. Without access to a gas line, you simply can’t use a gas furnace in your home. Heat pumps, on the other hand, are an efficient option. Heat pumps function like an air conditioner but have a reversing valve that allows them to heat the home, as well as cool it. They work best in areas with moderate winters and warm, humid summers. Because it uses minimal fuel and relies on outdoor temperatures to help heat and cool the home, these systems are quite efficient.

Do You Need Dual Function?

Another consideration to make when choosing between a heat pump, furnace or a hybrid is the dual-function nature of the unit you choose. Are you replacing both the heating and cooling aspects? A heat pump does may be the answer. If only heating is your concern, and your home’s central air conditioner is still operating efficiently, a furnace may be the best option. Talk to a trusted HVAC professional to get advice specific to your home’s current needs.

Comparing All the Options

To fully understand the strengths and weaknesses of the heat pump vs. furnace debate, compare the two. When you invest in either system, you’ll benefit from a system that will integrate well with an indoor air quality system or a whole-house dehumidifier. Zoning systems and smart thermostats also work well, no matter which you choose. Both heat pumps and central heating and cooling systems will do a good job of dehumidifying your home. So what are the differences? First, the cost is different. An HVAC system that will perform the same dual-purpose as a heat pump will cost more to install and purchase than a heat pump. Efficiency is also varied. In mild climates, heat pumps are far more efficient  than furnaces.

How Hybrid Systems Fit the Picture

If you the weather in your area occasionally dips below freezing, a heat pump isn’t going to be efficient during these cold spells. In very low temperatures, you’ll need a backup heating source. Unfortunately, the electric-resistance heating that comes with most heat pumps isn’t efficient and will lead to higher heating bills during particularly cold periods. This is where a hybrid heating system can be beneficial. This system combines a heat pump with a gas furnace to deliver efficiency all year long. These units work by automatically switching to the furnace when it’s the more efficient option, but using the heat pump whenever possible. For professional help deciding between a heat pump, furnace or a hybrid system, contact Air Specialty. We’re happy to help you determine which heating source is best for your Mobile, Saraland or Lucedale home.
Is A Heat Pump In The Future? 5 Key Features To Assess

Is A Heat Pump In The Future? 5 Key Features To Assess

Air Specialty Heating Systems and Heat PumpsA heat pump is an excellent option for home comfort management in the Mobile area. Because winters are mild, a heat pump can provide safe and effective heating during the winter and cooling during the summer. As you begin to look at new systems, read through the following five features in order to help you  assess your needs and options.

1. Efficiency Ratings

A heat pump is rated for both heating and cooling efficiency. You will find that high-performance units take today’s efficiency levels to new heights. Cooling efficiency is identified as SEER, the seasonal energy efficiency ratio. In 2006, this was raised from 10 to 13 as a minimum requirement in newly manufactured equipment. Effective in January 2015, the minimum SEER in new systems for areas other than the northern region of the country was raised to 14. Similarly, the minimum HSPF, heating seasonal performance factor, has increased from 7.7 to 8.2. Budget-friendly units are available at the lower end of this rating spectrum. However, high-performance pump systems offer more than 20 SEER and 13 HSPF. As you make a decision about your next system, you will want to balance your desire for energy efficiency with your budget for new equipment.

2. Compatibility for Hybrid Heating

Natural gas is used for heating nearly one-third of Alabama homes. Although average lows are in the 40s during the winter, record lows have dropped to sub-zero levels. On these rare occasions, an air-source pump system may struggle to efficiently heat. Combing the pump system with a compatible furnace can be ideal for ensuring the most efficient heating source based on the outside conditions. If you have a furnace, you may want to consider heat pump installation as part of a hybrid heating configuration.

3. Indoor Air Quality

Living near the Gulf Coast, you may struggle with humidity levels inside your home. Even during the winter months, outside humidity levels exceed 60 percent. Recommended indoor humidity is between 30 and 50 percent, but a moist climate makes it difficult to mitigate high levels. Humid air will make you feel warmer and more uncomfortable. You’ll also find that a humid home can create problems with mold and mildew. Health and your quality of life can be affected by poor indoor air quality because of excessive moisture. Your cooling system provides dehumidification activity, important for drawing moisture from your indoor air supply. Unfortunately, it is impractical to operate your cooling equipment when temperatures are mild. As you research new pump systems, you will want to investigate those options that include enhanced dehumidification solutions. Systems like the Infinity 20 from Carrier provide optimum dehumidification, using lower speeds to minimize cooling activity while maximizing the removal of moisture from the indoor environment. This allows you to gain greater control over your home’s air quality.

4. Adaptive Technology

Older systems tend to operate at set output levels, making it difficult to achieve the ideal comfort level in a home. Temperature levels are registered at the thermostat, and hot or cold air is distributed until this level is reached. In many cases, portions of a home will experience major temperature changes between system cycling. However, pump systems with adaptive technology can adjust based on indoor conditions, adjusting fan and compressor speeds to ensure that output is only as much as needed. The Infinity 20 system, for example, can range from 40 to 100 percent, providing only as much heating or cooling as needed. Not only does this ensure optimum comfort, but it also allows for more efficient use of energy. Further, you may experience fewer heat pump repairs because of less intense equipment activity.

5. Life Expectancy of a System

As you think about a new heat pump installation, you may want to compare the remaining life of your existing equipment to the potential benefits of a new unit. You can expect a new unit to last for nearly 15 years, especially if the unit has been carefully maintained. If you are experiencing more frequent heat pump repair needs in spite of good maintenance, a new unit may save you from expensive future repairs. If you considering a heat pump or want to find out how a heat pump would work in your home, call Air-Specialty.
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